It’s time to get serious about saving energy!
As OFGEM announces a rise in the price cap from the Autumn, now is the time to get serious about the energy we use, and sometimes even waste, not only in our homes, but in our offices and showrooms too. Here are a few energy-saving tips...
Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. LED bulbs can save as much as 80% energy.
Make use of natural light from windows and skylights. Don’t rely on artificial light when it’s bright outside, save it for gloomy days and dark evenings.
Don’t leave lights on in unoccupied rooms. It should go without saying, but remind employees to do their bit. Alternatively, use occupancy monitoring sensors and automate lighting controls depending on whether the room is in use.
Take the brightness down a notch. Dimmed lights use less electricity and can be linked to sensors that turn up the light as the daylight outside decreases.
Use focused lighting. If you don’t need to light the whole room, just light the area you’re working at.
Remind employees to switch off computers and other equipment that isn’t being used. If people need a little extra encouragement or they’re worried about powering down essential equipment, E.ON recommends introducing a traffic-light system: A red sticker means don’t turn off, amber means only authorised people can switch the appliance off and green means anyone can.
Don’t rely on standby mode. Surprisingly, appliances left on standby still use up to 50% of the energy they use when in operation, and appliances continue to draw power even if they’re just plugged in.
Check whether appliances have an energy-saving setting and encourage everyone to use them as the default.
Upgrade outdated, energy-intensive equipment. Energy-efficient devices cost more, but they’ll save you money in the long term.
Set up a maintenance schedule. Well-maintained equipment is more efficient and lasts longer. Keep equipment free from obstructions and clean fans and filters regularly to prevent overheating.
Check whether you’re eligible for any tax breaks. Some local Governments and utility companies provide tax incentives or rebates when buying energy-efficient appliances.
Consider installing solar panels. While they may be expensive initially, over a few years the free energy they generate can more than make up for the cost of installation.
Plant trees outside your office. Leafy trees offer shade in summer and help keep out chilly winds in winter.
Get an energy audit. Lots of utility companies offer free audits to help you identify ways to save.
Use a timer system to programme controls on heating, lighting, appliances and more. Even better, look into a smart building management system that automates control depending on occupancy. For example, switching off lights when the last person leaves a room.
We’ve put these tips together with an office environment in mind, but many of them still stand no matter what kind of business you operate.